MUST HAVE WEDDING SHOTS
Planning a wedding is a huge task! You are choosing the most important details to share your love story and create a stunning celebration. Your friends and family members are going to be there to experience all of it. Months, maybe even years, of planning will finally arrive and then be finished in what seems like a flash. Know what photos are your "must-have" moments is important! It is really important to plan a pre-wedding consultation with your photographer. This consultation should not only be designated for you to get to know each other, but to also plan out your wedding photography schedule. So, what can you expect in a wedding day photography schedule? What are the "must-have" shots that are needed to best tell your story?
I am passionate about the details and emotion of the day. My team and I do believe posed photos are necessary and important. However, we also thrive in the "behind the scenes" moments that capture the details and joyful expression of the day. With this in mind, here are my suggestions for your "must -have " shots.
BRIDE AND GROOM TOGETHER
These photos are some of the most important photos of the day. These are the photos you will display on your walls, post on your social media, and fill memory albums. I always spend at least 30 minutes with my bride and groom alone. You will want a close up shot together and looking at the camera, a full length shot together and looking at the camera, a kiss photo, and I love to do a dip photo! Dramatic and romantic!!! These are a minimum. If you have a veil, there are some amazing photos that can be created using your veil. I also suggest spending a few minutes together at sunset. This time of day really creates some stunning images that are romantic and unique.
Writing out your list of family members that you want for your traditionally posed photos truly helps the process and photography time post-ceremony run smoothly. This allows the photographer to call members up quickly and keeps everything organized. Usually, you will include brides side - parents, grandparents, siblings, any aunts and uncles. The same would be selected for the grooms side. It is always nice to get a photo of both sets of parents together with the bride and groom. * It is important to note any special family circumstances such as deceased members of the family, if there is a divorce or separation that may hinder participation or if there are special needs or elderly family members that may require additional assistance. You may want to do a whole family photo for both the bride and grooms separate family photos.
Your party members are the closest people to you. They have been with you through thick and thin. I suggest spending 15 minutes with the groomsmen and 15 minutes with the bridesmaid for group photos. Then, come together for a few whole group shots. At minimum, you will want at least one "serious" pose, a fun pose, something that shows your personalities, and a close up shot. I also like to get the bride with each bridesmaid as well as the groom with each groomsman. This is the time to have fun and be creative!! Choosing different locations for these shots is also a great idea. If possible, I always suggest some stairs like on the front of a church, somewhere green like at a park or and the venue.
Girlfriend! It is your day to shine! You have planned and prepared for THIS day. Every detail from your hairstyle to your gown, the flowers and decor to the music and flavor of the cake are all part of your masterpiece. It is a "must have" to have your own mini shoot. Showoff your style and gorgeous self by making sure you have several close up shots! Smile!! Then smile with just your eyes...you know how your eyes twinkle when you think of your forever love? That's what I mean. Showcase your gown and the details! Be sure to get a full length shot of the dress BEFORE you put it on and of course once you are taking your bridal portraits. Most of all, enjoy every second!
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SHOTS
These are the moments that create your wedding story. Every detail from the music to the flowers and everything in between writes your wedding story! Don't miss the details!! Make sure you get a shot of the decor, the rings, the procession, the first kiss, communion, and any unity activities such as the sand covenant. For your reception, you will want to have shots of the table decor, your cake, your entrance and of course the dances! I also love to get as many shots of the guests at their tables. This is a great way to get a glimpse of everyone that celebrated with you. One of my absolute favorite shots to get is during the father / daughter , mother / son , or bride and groom first dance. For example, when the bride is dancing with her father, I like to take shot where the foreground of the image with the bride and her dad are out of focus and the background show the groom or mother of the bride watching them dance. So many time this has been an emotional photo that is so special to see.
DON'T FORGET THE PREP SHOTS
Okay, friends. Many of my brides aren't sure if they want prep shots, but let me take a moment to encourage you to make sure you add these images to your "must-have" list. The beginning of the day prep can capture so many details that you may not even know is happening. Many times, I will see details in prep that accidentally happen. For example, I had a bride who had just finished writing her vows. She sat her empty cup of coffee down beside the vows. Inside the cup, the coffee created a heart! How sweet is that? Moments between the bride and her grandmother or mother are so important and often can be captured during the prep moments. One favorite image that I always try to take is a reveal of the bride to her bridesmaids! You will also want to get shots of the make up you wore, you putting on your jewelry, getting zipped or buttoned into your gown and other details like your perfume bottle. Don't forget the guys!! Get shots of the groom fixing his cuff links, having his boutonnière put on, adjusting his tie or playing a game of pool with the guys.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO KNOW?
Having shot weddings and events for over ten years, the standard shot list is truly engrained in my mind. We will certainly go over these details, because I want to know what is important to you! It is also important for me to know about unique details that you have planned. Are you writing your own vows? Are you going to be wearing a family heirloom? Will the groomsmen be wearing funny sock or superhero t-shirts under their dress shirts? Have you had any custom made champagne glasses? What makes your day unique? Those are the details to keep in mind at your pre-wedding consultation.
I hope these tips have provided some insight into what "must have" shots you should include for your special day!